Truth. We could spend hours debating its meaning or whether it exists at all. Many with better skills of reasoning and debate than I would leave with their opinions unchallenged. Nevertheless, I see truth as objective and eternal.
Churches call their view of truth doctrine. In every church I’ve attended, internal doctrine is embraced and external doctrine eschewed without question. In other words, each church believes it has the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. While I find the Bible to be true, we have not always interpreted it properly, nor does the Bible hold the monopoly on truth.
When I left my sheltered, fundamentalist world, I was amazed to find people who do not believe in God, who do not see Christian Scripture as authoritative, who have never entered a church but for a wedding or funeral, yet seem at peace. Some of the most well-adjusted people I know are not religious at all. Some belong to faiths so different from my own that they were never a topic of discussion in my circles. And yet these “pagans” had found something I hadn’t — inner peace.
I am not a universalist. I believe with all my heart that Jesus of Nazareth is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But I also see a God who so longs for people to find the truth that he has hidden it everywhere. It can be found in the words of Billy Graham, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama. I have seen it in the spires of a cathedral and the strokes of a painting. I have heard it the lofty thoughts of Greek philosophers and the simple words of a child. I have found it in the lyrics of a hymn and in the lyrics of the Beatles.
Recently, I have felt compelled to look for truth in the teachings of Buddhism. Amazingly, I found that the Path and the Way intersect at some points, and from these new understandings, I have gained much. These will be the subject of my next post.
Photo Credit: Reinhard Klar, https://www.flickr.com/photos/32409232@N05/3253788790/